S. Korea slams Abe's offering to infamous shrine
SEOUL, Aug. 15 (Xnhua) -- South Korea's foreign ministry on Friday condemned the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for sending an offering to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine, demanding Japanese politicians to confess their country's wartime crimes.
South Korea's foreign ministry spokesman Noh Kwang-il said in a statement that the government "cannot help deploring" Japanese politicians' visit to the shrine as it is a symbol of Japan's colonial rule and reflects the country's attempt to whitewash its wartime aggression.
Abe sent an offering to the Shrine through his aide Kouichi Hagiuda on Friday on the 69th anniversary of Japan's surrender in the World War II.
Earlier on Friday, two Japanese ministers of Abe's cabinet, Yoshitaka Shindo, Japanese internal affairs minister, and Chairman of Japan's National Public Safety Commission Keiji Furuya, also visited the controversial shrine.
"Ties between South Korea and Japan cannot be improved thoroughly until Japanese politicians give up their historical revisionism and apologizing for the country's wartime crime," said South Korea's foreign ministry spokesman Noh Kwang-il in a statement.
He said the stable development of bilateral ties between Seoul and Tokyo was the common hope of citizens of both countries.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Friday also urged Japan to face up to the history, changing its erroneous understanding of history, especially on the sex slave issues, and showing its wisdom and determination for the new future with South Korea.
She made the remarks during her Liberation Day speech to celebrate the 69th anniversary of the peninsula's liberation from Japan's 35-year colonial rule.
Abe's visit to the Yasukuni shrine in December, 2013 stirred a wider range of condemnation and stern responses from Japan's neighboring countries, especially from China and South Korea.
Japan's relations with its neighboring countries, especially South Korea and China, have frayed not only for territorial disputes, but also due to the Yasukuni and "comfort women" issues, which are considered as a test stone to Japan's reflection on its wartime history.